God does not want His children living in fear. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:2-3). However, God does want His children to have a proper respect and reverence for Him. We are told in many places in Scripture to “fear God.”
This Week’s Passage ~ “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: ‘Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?’ He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure” (Isaiah 33:14-16).
Comment ~ “Sinners in Zion” refers to the non-fearing Jews in Jerusalem at that time. There are always unbelievers mixed with any large group of believers. Religious “hypocrites” are also mentioned in this passage. A third group is also mentioned: those who walk with integrity in the fear of God. In the final days all who have not come to fear God will now fear Him.
Fearing God Results in Salvation ~ “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). “A wise person fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16). This does not mean the Christian is to live a fearful life—but a life which reverences God and seeks to do His will.
Fearing God Results in Fearlessness ~ “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). The answer is: only God. With the gift of salvation comes responsibility.
Fearing God Results in Witnessing ~ “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16).
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